Monday, March 9, 2009

You vs. Them

You are a savvy tech set digital marketer, they are your client.

You eat sleep and breathe everything digital - you do not know novelty, you easily get bored and constantly look for the new next. Your client needs to sell more of whatever it is they are selling - be it soap, shoes, sandwiches, underwear or shellac. They really don't care about what's new or next or the flavor of the month digital social, API, viral, PHP, Open, closed, CMS or flex. They just need to sell more of their stuff.

The battle for their marketing approach is on - you offer them a magic pill, a silver bullet, a potion comprised of the latest, greatest digital cacophony of splendid strategy and devices any one person can think of. At first they resist, then they buy-in because they trust you - or did you just wear them down?

They get all kinds of praise for being "progressive", on the "bleeding edge", social, "transparent", viral, forward thinking and all kinds of adjectives that make them feel 20 years younger and you feel like the "smartest guy in the room." After all you can talk "tech", you are social, hell you are on like 23 web sites with a profile - you are "everywhere" and they just look at you in awe. You must be a genius. They must be simple.

Their sales don't budge. They are frustrated. It is now you vs. them. They will win because they control the purse strings and need to work with someone who will listen and do what is effective, not what is "next."

If I had a dime for every time I have either witnessed this scenario, heard others talk about this scenario or had the unpleasant experience listening to one of "them" with a sympathetic ear I would not be writing this from my dining room. I would be planning my next adventure in a far off place wondering how I would spend my billions.

The moral is...
in a completely horrid economic climate - or even in a decent economic climate - you better quit worrying about what is next in the technological frontier and more about how you can leverage solid, effective strategies and execution to help them succeed. The market is ugly and will get worse. If they don't recognize value in you, you will be replaced by them quickly.

They don't care about technology, they care about how you, as a trusted partner, will help them succeed in the all out war companies are already facing for market share in this bad economic situation.

Am I decrying technology - absolutely not - I have had a lot of success concepting, creating and executing digital centric campaigns over the last 9 years. I will say a well researched approach matching the patient with the most appropriate cure, not the newest cure, has proven out to be a very wise path.

Every client has a unique opportunity and technologies are not one size fits all, even though many tech writers would try and have you believe that.

So the next time one of them comes to you for help, don't just throw them into what interests you because you want to tinker with the newest application. Stop and work through scenarios that you know will solidify their position, expand their exposure and ultimately win them new customers and embolden their existing fans to spread the love.

Make their experience one their audience cannot deny. Did you get that?? Let me repeat again in all caps - it may help you create their next masterpiece. Don't just create something, MAKE THEIR EXPERIENCE ONE THEIR AUDIENCE CANNOT DENY.

Wouldn't it be nice if their customers were your biggest proponents??

**You may think I am nuts, but I am typically more concerned with what my clients' clients think of The Basement Design + Motion work more than our actual clients. After all, if they are engaged our clients will see the results and that securely locks in our future success.

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